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Discussion Starter #1
I worked at this past weekend's Magnum Opus rally. I was with the radio crew for a stage finish and at the start line of another.

Things to take note of, that I saw:

- Teams really need to take note of cars that are off. Some teams were good, noting car #, car description, mileage, ok sign shown.

- Others were not so good. We would ask if they saw any cars off and I was told "No cars off" "Two cars off" "Yeah there were cars off but I don't know who or where they were". This was at a time when THERE WERE THREE CARS OFF. I recieved a direct instructions that "Insert Drivers first and last name here" was Off at so and so mileage, etc. This wasn't a problem until our stage was done and it turned out that this CAR FINISHED THE STAGE! When we (radio car) were given the Drivers Name we called that car # in and reported the location etc. It turned out to be another car. So now we at the radio car were getting all kinds of conflicting info. We had to look at the scoring sheets from the timing car / compared to our own sheets at the radio car / and finally confirm with the MTC whom was parked down the road from us. Fairly confusing for a time.

This was my first time working with a radio crew so we did make some mistakes but hopefully learned somethings.

When I worked the start (which I've done many times before) everything ran smoothly once the stage was cleared and we were allowed to start the stage. The only problem noted was how many teams just handed us a complete scorecard and didn't have it opened to our stage page.

The timing card was handed to us (there were two of us at the start line) and we looked at the card and realized that something wasn't right. There were times already filled in for a stage start???????? Quickly we realized to open the timing book to the correct page. About 5 teams had the book on the right page out of the 32 cars we started.

I know it's fairly simple but if I'd never run a rally and didn't understand where times were to go we could have EASILY filled in the stage start time on the wrong page.

Just some little things to remember. Take note of cars that are off and try and be on the correct page on the scorecard.

Brian Scott
 

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I've seen discussions here before about handing over time cards turned to the wrong page. There are teams out there who will do it deliberately to get the timing worker to make a mistake/delay and end up giving them an extra "dust minute."

Of course, at a club event, I suspect close to 50% ignorance and 50% not paying attention...

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JP Rowland jeremyrowland -at- mac.com
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I think that the most important thing for competitors to note when a car is off is the mileage, if the OK or Red Cross sign was displayed, and if the road is clear to other rally cars. Car number is another thing that is EXTREMELY helpful, so we can track who is where, and their condition.

Other helpful info would be what side of the road the damaged car is on.

Again, I reiterate, the most important things are MILEAGE, OK/RED CROSS, and ROAD CLEAR/BLOCKED. It is extremely important to get an accurate mileage if the red cross is displayed.

By the way, I was the "rookie" radio guy working with Brian. Still getting into the groove of things on the radio net.

Many thanks go out to the organizers, who put on a good event. Also, Lyn Nelson for an EXCELLENT radio net, very well controlled. Next time I get to see what this rally thing is like from the driver's seat, I can't wait.
 

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We might have actually reported the wrong car off. When you are flying by and you see the okay it's not always possible to get the car number but frequently we'll know who it is and of course sometimes we make a mistake. We did get the mileages correct, however. I think it's very important to note where a car is off. It is much harder to do when you are running the stage notes vs the route book. I'm still trying to work out a way to record where cars are off using notes.

The real problem we had at Magnum Opus was there was a red cross that was displayed for a while, we did not see it. When we got to the end of the stage we were asked by the control worker where the red cross was and we did not see one. Later I found out that the red cross was taking down by the competitors and we didn't miss it.

Once you display a red cross it is supposed to stay up until the safety crew takes it down which means that all subsiquent cars must stop and render assistance.
We felt really bad about the possibility of us missing a red cross until we found out later that they took it down.
-al
 

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I know that there was a significant shortage of workers at the event, but I feel I should add my (albeit limited) experience here.

When I am working a start, I mark down on a piece of paper the number of cars expected (reported by net control), and I make every effort to write each car number down as they move past me going into the control. I say "make every effort" because I have missed a car before, just momentary brain fade, or because I was talking on the radio as a car went past. If there is a discrepancy, I can compare with the starters log.

At the finishes I try and do the same, noting if a car has finished with significant damage. The info has never been asked for, but if it is, I'll have collected it.

jb
 

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>At the finishes I try and do the same, noting if a car has
>finished with significant damage. The info has never been
>asked for, but if it is, I'll have collected it.

This "damage log" might be useful to the tech inspectors at service or after the event - IF - we had time on the net to relay it somewhere in the midst of all the "I-can't-find-my-control", "How-is-my-radio-working?" and "Car-7251-has-just-passed-my-location" calls.

:)

BW
 

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I am not sure how it is done elswere..
But in Maine (I ran sweep) each control wrote down each car number as it went through. When sweep got to the start control.
they told us how many cars started. which we compared to the finish of the previous stage. If the total number did not match. we compared car numbers and found the cars that had dropped out. or were late.
Then when we got to the finish of the stage. we compared thier numbers with the start numbers. And so on. this way we knew how many cars were on stag at all times. and did not leave a control without a acurate number.
As a driver/competitor sometimes it is very hard to spot the car number of a car off the road, or even parked along the road.
I would say that most of the time it is impossable to snag the number going by at 50-80mph.. All the time trying to concintrate on staying on the road, or keeping the notes in line. In my opinion the competitors have no responsibility to report disabled cars EXCEPT when the red cross is displayed, or the car is a saftey hazard.
IF they are able to get info and report it to finish that is OK, (and we try to do it as much as possable) but it should not be REQUIRED.
keeping track of all the cars on their stage is the
job of the stage control.
Just my $0.02
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I understand that it's difficult to spot every car #, etc. I am a competitor as well.

However, being that triangles are out, and you SHOULD be slowing down for this, I think it's VERY IMPORTANT for the competitors to try and note as much as possible.

The only info. that the stage crews know is what they are TOLD.

On the radio net only the first car # was given. At the finish we had no idea as to what the running order of the cars was. The only way to ensure that there were cars off was WHEN WE WERE TOLD BY COMPETITORS.

Yes, once that stage is complete you can look at the start and finish log and say "Hmmmm, seem to be some cars missing. Oh well, who cares."

I don't think that's the way to run the event, IMHO.

Brian
 

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Brian Goss:

If the competitors do not tell the finish control a car is off the stage will be stopped until the car is found.

This is required after the finish observes a missing car and it is not identified by the next 2 or so competitors. If a car starts the stage, and does not finish the stage, and no competitor reports the cars location, the only proper assumption is that the car is way off the road and the drivers are in such a world of hurt they cannot get to the road to display the red cross or the OK sign.

Part of rallying is looking out for your fellow competitor, if you do not want to take responsibility for the people on the road in front of you, I'd rather not have you in the field -- and yes I mean that.

To back that up, I mean that as a competitor and as an organizer. If you don't understand the importance of reporting the cars off -- you really do not deserve to be licensed, you are a liability and your entry is not worth the risk your attitude imposes on the other competitors for whom you are responsible.

Please re-think the importance of noting the number of cars off on stage (and transits for that matter), the cars location, name/car number of the occupants, and how you hold their saftey in your hands.

Mike
 

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>If the competitors do not tell the finish control a car is off
>the stage will be stopped until the car is found.

I was also working radio at Maine, in the middle of stages, and at least twice I radioed back that a particular car had not passed my point (I was keeping a list) but nothing was done about it. Also, the start control often failed to report that a car was starting and its number...I can understand this, I get "brain blips" too, but it still caused plenty of confusion, and I wouldn't have known if there was a car off stage that needed emergency help, if the following cars didn't see it.

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JP Rowland jeremyrowland -at- mac.com
Visit my boring web page: http://homepage.mac.com/jeremyrowland
"Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." -- Isaiah 45:22
 

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Its not always easy....

If I see a car off, I see the OK sign, I TRY and note the car number and mileage location. I say try is because when your trying to stay on in the notes, seeing the car number can be difficult. Using Stage Notes, sometimes I won't even see the car unless the driver says something. (I missed seeing John Lane's butt! :) ) Or you can't see the number at all and must guess by the type/color of car. I reported a car off, but later discovered it was the wrong car. (With a bunch of Subies, its easy to make a mistake.) I am sure this caused some confusion, but easily corrected by the finish control noting that car had already checked in.

How about this story: At Wild West, Bill Malik was in front of us on Sunday. We finish the stage and transit to the next ATC, but no Malik. Hmm maybe he stopped to pee, change tire during the transit? I didn't see his Volvo on the side of the road. (No mistaking that for a Subie) We check in and Malik still has not arrived. I alert the ATC control that I didn't see Malik off on the last stage, and he should have checked in front of us, so please alert dispatch! I later found out he had a cluch problem, and had pulled off on a side road out of view. Dave Keen (Malik's navie) must have heard about this because while we are waiting to check into service, he thanked me for looking out for them.

Paul Nelson
Navie for #398
 

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ADDED: In responce to Mike Bodnar's comments

>If the competitors do not tell the finish control a car is
>off the stage will be stopped until the car is found.

I understand that..
I am not saying that I am going out there and the only one I care about is myself. And I make every effort to report all the cars that I see along the road. Would you like you see the video of us reporting cars at the end of the stages??..
And me telling the co-river to not to forget to write it down in the book who & where they were..as we are on stage?

>This is required after the finish observes a missing car and
>it is not identified by the next 2 or so competitors. If a
>car starts the stage, and does not finish the stage, and no
>competitor reports the cars location, the only proper
>assumption is that the car is way off the road and the
>drivers are in such a world of hurt they cannot get to the
>road to display the red cross or the OK sign.
>
>Part of rallying is looking out for your fellow competitor,
>if you do not want to take responsibility for the people on
>the road in front of you, I'd rather not have you in the
>field -- and yes I mean that.
>To back that up, I mean that as a competitor and as an
>organizer. If you don't understand the importance of
>reporting the cars off -- you really do not deserve to be
>licensed, you are a liability and your entry is not worth
>the risk your attitude imposes on the other competitors for
>whom you are responsible.

you obviously have gotten the wrong idea on what I am saying.
And are making poor assumptions about me because of it.
Maybie I worded it wrong or something.
To me it sounded like the origional author was stating that it
needs to be the team resopnsability to get the car number
and get it CORRECT or the control is confused.
And I was saying that sometimes it is hard to see the number on the car. Yes as someone stated we have slowed down. But maybe the car has pulled into a side road, or it is night time or it is muddy and raining. throw all that in and it becomes hard to see the cars, never mind the number on the side...
And on top of that with the common poor triangle placement that many are complaining about lately.. most of the time the disabled car catches you off guard. and you are doing all you can do to get around the car without hitting it. at that point the last thing on my mind is "I better get the car number or the control will be mad at me"
That is all I am saying. I am not saying that I don't give a crap about anyone else, and I am not interested in helping out, and reporting where cars are stoped..
I just was saying that Control shouldnt get upset at drivers for not getting the number of the car. Or getting the number wrong.
I am sure that everyone was trying to get the information to control the best they could.

>
>Please re-think the importance of noting the number of cars
>off on stage (and transits for that matter), the cars
>location, name/car number of the occupants, and how you hold
>their saftey in your hands.

I am well aware of the importance of that Mike..
Please don't jump to assumptions about how I feel about fellow competitiors and the sport. And what my resonsability is while at an event. I am sure there are a few out there who really don't give a ##### anyone else. Don't put me in that group.
>
>Mike

Brian
 

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I think the main thing that I want to address is that it is important and helpful to gather as much info as you can, given the short time you have passing by. For sure, if you blast by and miss the car number, you wouldn't back up to make sure you got it. And don't stare in the mirrors trying to see the number. Maybe I'm just trying to let the competitors know that getting this info is helpful to the organizers/control workers. Whatever detail you can.

Stage notes makes this even harder to do, as the co-driver is now super busy.

RED CROSS is another story. MILEAGE is needed. It should not be too difficult to get. The first car arrives on scene, and they asses the situation. When the second car arrives, a decision is made as to who is best to find the next radio along the route. During this time the co-driver should note the mileage, car number (if visible), and any other important info (any severe injuries may be helpful if it is something the medics can be prepare to deal with while driving to the accident scene.

The reason I bring this up is that until I started getting involved with the organization of a rally, I probably wouldn't have thought too much about it. Now I understand, and just want to make sure all the other competitors out there understand too.
 

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RE: Its not always easy....

A couple of years ago, a scheme was tried, at least at one or two events, where distinctive stickers, either in alphabetic or numeric order, were applied to scorecards as competitors left stage start.
Since they were consecutive, independent of actual car number, it was immediately apparent to stage finish crews when a car in the string was missing, whether noted by a following crew or not, and inquiries could start right away.
Even with radioes & notes from subsequent competitors, this seemed to be a good simple tracking idea - don't know why it didn't continue.

andy e
 

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RE: Its not always easy....

Well, isnt that what they do in Canada. You get your car number based upon your start order for the rally. No permanent numbers etc.

What I've seen happening in the US is the use of sequence numbers. Start crew has sequence stickers for the cars as they approach the start. The Finish crew should get the cars in a sequence and if they miss a car in the sequence, they usually ask if we saw another car off on stage somewhere.

There have been times when I've seen cars off that I know by color, owner etc and don't know the car #. And while i'm still gasping that they dnf'ed, we pass them so I couldn't take the car number but when we get to the finish and I tell them that so-n-so in a so-n-so car is off at xxx miles, the finish crew cannot relate to that unless they have worked a previous stage and have seen the car. Would it be helpful for each control to have a start list that gives you the car number, the competitor names and the kind of car it is?

Yes, the start order will render itself absolute as the rally goes on as people dnf, catch each other etc. but it will help putting the car description with the numbers

- Sumit
 

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>Stage notes makes this even harder to do, as the co-driver
>is now super busy.

Agreed. I almost never manage to see the car number (although I likely know WHO it was - which is why all controls should have an ACCURATE entry list) or get an accurate mileage when I'm running notes. I assume this will improve with more practice.

>RED CROSS is another story. MILEAGE is needed. It should

True. But since you actually stop, getting the mileage, car number, and other information should not be a problem.

Adrian
 

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RE: Sequence Numbers..

>
>What I've seen happening in the US is the use of sequence
>numbers. Start crew has sequence stickers for the cars as
>they approach the start. The Finish crew should get the cars
>in a sequence and if they miss a car in the sequence, they
>usually ask if we saw another car off on stage somewhere.
>
>There have been times when I've seen cars off that I know by
>color, owner etc and don't know the car #. And while i'm
>still gasping that they dnf'ed, we pass them so I couldn't
>take the car number but when we get to the finish and I tell
>them that so-n-so in a so-n-so car is off at xxx miles, the
>finish crew cannot relate to that unless they have worked a
>previous stage and have seen the car. Would it be helpful
>for each control to have a start list that gives you the car
>number, the competitor names and the kind of car it is?
>
>Yes, the start order will render itself absolute as the
>rally goes on as people dnf, catch each other etc. but it
>will help putting the car description with the numbers
>
>- Sumit

I have been a control captain (usually at finish controls) for over 20 years. Sequence numbers work well. As Sumit said if a car arrives at a finish control out of sequence they will be asked if they saw the car ahead of them.

I agree you can't usually get the car number. On muddy rallies I often have to ask the car number of the car stopped 2 feet away. This is where it is helpful to know what car started the stage ahead of you. If other competitors reported previous cars, then this car is the only one the finish control is concerned about. If you can identify the car ahead of you AND the organizers gave the control a good entry list, it is easy to pair up car description to car number.

Organizers: It is a good idea to put car color on the start list so when somebody says a green car is off we can identify it.

The only problem I have had with sequence numbers was on Snodrift. So many cars went off briefly on Henry Joy's ranch that when you had a car out of sequence and you asked them if they passed anyone you would get a answer like " Yes, we passed car 88 twice and car 95 passed us three times." We stopped asking after that!

Paul Jaeger
PRIMO Stage Crews
For a Good Time, Call PRIMO!
 

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RE: Its not always easy....

Sequence numbers are an excellent idea, and I thought they were used on most rallies, but then again, I have never been involved with any job requiring me to see the timecard.

This is definately something that should be incorporated into all rallies.
 

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RE: Its not always easy....

They (sequence numbers) are used at all Pro rallies east of the Mississippi except for Maine. (Maine still tracks cars, they do it over the radio, the 'old' way.) I have not been out west to see the systems used.

Sequence numbers allow for immediate knowledge of a missing car, radio is a slower more cumbersome system IMHO. (Not that radios are not immensely important -- sequence numbers free the radio people up to deal with everything else.)

I was pretty sure I overheard them explaining them and Magnum Opus, but as I got to DRIVE I would not know if they were being used.

Mike
 

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RE: Its not always easy....

>They (sequence numbers) are used at all Pro rallies east of
>the Mississippi except for Maine. (Maine still tracks cars,
>they do it over the radio, the 'old' way.) I have not been
>out west to see the systems used.

We do the "old-fashion" radio tracking at Oregon Trail.

We were going to try sequence numbers at OT this year (Lyn Nelson had been working with me on that) but we just ran out of time to deal with it.

Maybe we'll try again next year.

Ben
 
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